Winchester Ammunition

Winchester Ammunition

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GLOSSARY   |   A - C   |   D - F   |   G - I   |   J - L   |   M - O   |   P - S   |   T - V   |   W - Z


PATTERN

The distribution of shot fired from a shotgun. Generally measured as a percentage of pellets striking in a 30 inch circle at 40 yards.

PISTOL

A term for a one-hand held firearm with a single chamber. ( A revolver has at least five chambers.)

PISTOL, AUTOMATIC

The common but improperly used term to describe semi-automatic pistols. See ACTION, SEMI-AUTOMATIC for a description of how these pistols operate.

PISTOL, DOUBLE ACTION

A pistol mechanism in which a single pull of the trigger cocks and releases the hammer.

PISTOL, SINGLE ACTION

A pistol mechanism that requires the manual cocking of the hammer before the trigger releases the firing mechanism.

PLINKING

The informal shooting at inanimate objects at indefinite points. Note: Plinking typically refers to casual shooting at pine cones, tin cans, or other such objects for fun and practice.

POWDER

Commonly used term for the propellant in a cartridge or shotshell. See also PROPELLANT.

POWDER, BLACK

The earliest type of propellant, allegedly made by the Chinese or Hindus. First used for firearms in the 13th century, it is a mechanical mixture of potassium or sodium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur. It makes a large cloud of smoke when fired.

POWDER, SMOKELESS

A modern propellant containing mainly nitrocellulose or both nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin. Relatively little smoke is created when fired.

PRESSURE

The force developed by the expanding gases generated by the combustion of the propellant.

PRIMER

The ignition component consisting of brass or gilding metal cup, priming mixture, anvil, and foiling disc. It creates a spark when hit by a firing pin, igniting the propellant powder.

PROPELLANT

The chemical composition which, when ignited by a primer, generate gas. The gas propels the projectile. See also POWDER

RECEIVER

The basic unit of a firearm which houses the firing mechanism and to which the barrel and stock are assembled. In revolvers, pistols and break-open firearms, it is called the frame.

RECOIL

The rearward movement of a firearm resulting from firing a cartridge or shell.

RECOIL PAD

A butt plate, usually made of rubber, to reduce the recoil or "kick" of shoulder firearms.

RELOAD

A round of ammunition that has been assembled using fired cases. Note: Reloading is very popular among recreational target shooters, competitive shooters, and hunters. In addition to being cost-effective, reloading enables shooters to develop ammunition specifically designed for particular shooting disciplines or games.

REVOLVER

A firearm with a cylinder having several chambers so arranged as to rotate around an axis and be discharged successively by the same firing mechanism. A semi-automatic pistol is not a revolver because it does not have a revolving cylinder.

RIFLE

A firearm having spiral grooves in the bore and designed to be fired from the shoulder. By law, rifle barrels must be at least 16" long. Handguns usually have rifled barrels as well.

RIFLING

Grooves formed in the bore of a firearm barrel to impart rotary motion to a projectile.

ROUND

One complete small arms cartridge.

SAFETY

A device on a firearm designed to provide protection against accidental or unintentional discharge under normal usage when properly engaged.

SEMI-AUTOMATIC

Firearm which fires, extracts, ejects, and reloads only once for each pull and release of the trigger.

SHOTGUN

A smooth bore shoulder firearm designed to fire shells containing numerous pellets or a single slug.

SHOTSHELL

A round of ammunition containing multiple pellets for use in a shotgun. The multiple pellets in a shotshell are called SHELL.

SILENCER

A device attached to the muzzle of a firearm to reduce the noise of discharge. Silencers are virtually prohibited for civilian ownership and use.

SKEET

A clay target shooting sport with a shotgun. Shooters fire at clay targets crossing in front of them.

SKEET GUN

A shotgun with an open choke specifically designed for clay target skeet shooting or close range hunting.

SPORTING CLAYS

Often called "golf with a shotgun," it is a sport in which shooters, using shotguns, fire at clay targets from different stations on a course laid out over varying terrain.

STOCK

The wood, fiberglass, wood laminate or plastic component to which the barrel and receiver are attached.